Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Amid a government shutdown and a bleeding stock market, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader issued a statement on Christmas Eve criticizing President Trump for "plunging the country into chaos."

The big picture: Trump spent much of Monday morning tweeting about the events of the past week. The Dow, likely as a result of heightened uncertainty, closed down 653 points, making Monday Wall Street's worst Christmas Eve on record.

Among Trump's topics du jour: The shutdown fight over his border wall, his decision to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan, the subsequent resignations of Defense Secretary James Mattis and anti-ISIS envoy Brett McGurk, and reports that he has discussed firing Fed chairman Jerome Powell.

The Pelosi/Schumer statement:

"It's Christmas Eve and President Trump is plunging the country into chaos. The stock market is tanking and the president is waging a personal war on the Federal Reserve — after he just fired the Secretary of Defense.
Instead of bringing certainty into people's lives, he's continuing the Trump shutdown just to please right-wing radio and TV hosts. Meanwhile, different people from the same White House are saying different things about what the president would accept or not accept to end his Trump Shutdown, making it impossible to know where they stand at any given moment. The president wanted the shutdown, but he seems not to know how to get himself out of it. As long as the president is guided by the House Freedom Caucus, it's hard to see how he can come up with a solution that can pass both the House and Senate and end his Trump Shutdown."

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At least 100 killed, much of Beirut destroyed in massive explosion

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion Beirut, Lebanon has killed at least 100 people and injured over 4,000, according to the Lebanese Red Cross.

Driving the news: Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosions occurred at a warehouse that had been storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate for over six years.

Biden confidants see VP choices narrowing to Harris and Rice

Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images; Win McNamee/Getty Images

Confidants of Joe Biden believe his choices for vice president have narrowed to Sen. Kamala Harris and Susan Rice — and would be surprised if he picks anyone else.

The state of play: This is a snapshot of the nearly unanimous read that we get from more than a dozen people close to him.

An election like no other

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus will make the 2020 presidential election different from any in modern history: Voting that begins earlier, results that take longer, mail carriers as virtual poll workers and October Surprises that pop in September.

The big picture: Perhaps 80 million Americans will vote early, by mail or in person, Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, tells Axios. That's going to set up more of an Election Season than an Election Day — and increase the odds of national turmoil over the vote count.